The ongoing saga involving the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, Donald Trump, blackmail and lewd text messages continues to be absolutely ridiculous.
There is a new development in the incredible saga of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the White House-friendly tabloid trying to bring him down.
It turns out the brother of Mr Bezos’ new mistress handed over private text messages to the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper that broke the story of a potential extramarital affair before Bezos and his wife announced their separation.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the tabloid’s publisher paid $US200,000 ($A280,000) to obtain the intimate texts. That money reportedly went to Michael Sanchez, the brother of Mr Bezos’ new lover, TV presenter Lauren Sanchez.
The front-page story, citing “people familiar with the matter”, said the deal was unusual in that the money was promised regardless of whether any story was published.
In a sensational blog past last month, Mr Bezos revealed how the tabloid tried to blackmail him by threatening to publish more lewd text exchanges between him and his mistress unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained the private messages.
The publisher, which has close ties to Donald Trump and has worked to suppress damaging stories of the US President, also demanded Mr Bezos declare the tabloid’s coverage of him was not politically motivated.
The source of the leak in the journal’s report parallels the conclusion reached by private investigators working for Mr Bezos.
Security consultant Gavin de Becker, who was investigating the leak for Mr Bezos, previously told the media “strong leads point to political motives” and that he was interested in Mr Sanchez, a vocal supporter of Mr Trump with links to his inner circle as a possible perpetrator.
Mr Bezos also owns The Washington Post. The 55-year-old billionaire, his newspaper and his e-commerce giant Amazon are regular targets of the US President on Twitter.
In a stunning justification, Mr Sanchez told Fox News that any actions he took were out of a desire to protect his sister and his family.
“My goal was and is always to protect Jeff, Lauren, my parents, my niece and my nephews,” he said.
Mr Sanchez works as a talent manager and said he hoped to use his longstanding relationship with the Enquirer to soften and slow down the story at a time when another tabloid was chasing the same allegations.
He argued because he stood to make millions of dollars from his relationship with Mr Bezos thanks to production deals, real estate commissions and a potential job offer, it made no sense for him to profit from selling him out.
Sanchez told The Wall Street Journal he did not want to “dignify” the reporting on the deal and called it “old rumours”. He denied ever seeing some of the racy photos that were published.
The Amazon founder is the world’s richest man and the divorce stands to be the most expensive separation in history.